William Albright--organist, composer, and University of Michigan faculty member--was born in Indiana in 1944 and died in 1998. Albright earned three music composition degrees from the University of Michigan before becoming a member of the composition faculty at the U. of M. School of Music. Albright is probably best known for his piano and organ performance. He helped to bring about a revival of ragtime, and sought inclusion of ragtime and other types of popular music in many of his compositions. He composed for many single instruments--especially the organ--and ensembles, and for orchestra. He also composed hymns, and was the music director for the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Ann Arbor, Michigan. He studied composition with Ross Lee Finney, George Rochberg, and Olivier Messiaen, among others, at Michigan and at summer workshops, and organ with Marilyn Mason. The collection includes biographical materials, correspondence, programs, professional files, University of Michigan School of Music files, and scores and recordings of William Albright works (including notes, sketches, and manuscripts) and works by his friends, students, and teachers.
The William Hugh Albright Papers consist of 77 boxes of musical scores, recordings, and textual documents such as correspondence and lecture notes. Albright's extensive collection of scores and recordings by his friends, students, and mentors is also included. His own works are represented by recordings, original handwritten scores and published versions, and by penciled notes and sketches. The William Hugh Albright Papers are divided into ten series: Photographs, Biographical Materials, Correspondence, Programs, Professional Files, School of Music, The Magic City, Scores, Recordings, and Videocassettes.